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Prayer Changes Me

Prayer Acceptance God's Will

Source: Bruce Almighty

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Contributed By: Glenn Newton | Date Posted: 2017-06-03

Scripture: Matthew 26:37 ; Matthew 26:46

Author: Glenn Newton
5

ILLUSTRATION

In the 2003 movie Bruce Almighty, Jim Carrey portrays a television reporter named Bruce Nolan. Bruce is a man who constantly complains about God. At one point he complains that, “God is a mean kid sitting on an anthill with a magnifying glass, and I'm the ant. He could fix my life in five minutes if He wanted to, but He'd rather burn off my feelers and watch me squirm.”

God (played by Morgan Freeman) confronts Bruce and says, “You've been doing a lot of complaining about me, Bruce. Quite frankly, I'm tired of it.” To prove to Bruce that He knows what He’s doing, God offers to let Bruce try to run the world in His place. Feeling confident he is up to the task, Bruce excitedly accepts. He soon realizes, however, the enormity and complexity of God’s work, particularly in answering prayers. In one scene, Bruce is so overwhelmed at the amount of prayers he has to answer, that he has them all put into a database and answers “Yes” to every one. As a result, over 400,000 people get the winning lottery numbers, but they only win $17.00 each. 

APPLICATION

Intellectually we all understand that God cannot say yes to every request we bring before Him, but I imagine many of us have wondered why he doesn’t say yes more often. We have difficulty understanding why some people seem to have their prayers answered, but when we pray for the same thing, heaven seems silent. We wonder, “Does prayer really change things?” Yes, it most certainly does! But it might not always bring the change we are expecting.

In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." Jesus' initial request was not granted but the ultimate desire of His heart was. God's will was done. And His own heart was prepared for what would follow because He submitting Himself to God's will ahead of time. He went from "deeply sorrowful" to accepting of His circumstances. God cannot say yes to every request, but desiring His will before our own changes the most important thing ... us!

Man Digs Hole In The Jungle For God

God's Will Obedience Calling

Source: “'God told man to start digging hole' in jungle 18 years ago - and he hasn't stopped since,” By MIRROR.CO.UK, September 2016

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-02-17

Scripture: Colossians 3:23

Author: Illustration Exchange
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ILLUSTRATION

The Mirror reports:

A man claims God told him to start digging a hole 18 years ago, and he literally hasn't stopped since.

Santiago Sanchez, 69, says he regards it as the Lord's work and he devotes every waking hour to the project.

The pensioner heads to the tunnel in the city of Berlin, in the western El Salvador department of Usulutan, at around 3 AM.

And every time he emerges he is carrying around 90 pounds of rock, stones and debris, following what God told him.

… It is no easy task, and the journalist who went into the tunnel to have a look confessed that by the time he got halfway, was struggling to breathe and had to leave quickly.

… Despite his conviction that he is following God's orders, he has many critics and many more who laugh at what he is doing.

His wife, named Isabel Ventura, said that "there are people who say that he is crazy" but he answers that "no one knows what God is going to demand from you."

APPLICATION

Is Santiago Sanchez doing God's will by digging a hole in the middle of the jungle? He certainly thinks he is, and that may be all that matters. Here’s the really interesting thing about God’s will; it can be attached to anything you do, even the most mundane of activities. 

The Bible says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Colossians 3:23-24). That means any task can become a divine calling, if it's done with the right motivation!

The real question isn't whether Mr. Sanchez is doing God's will but are you? If you flip hamburgers, you can choose to flip hamburgers for the Lord, or you can flip hamburgers for the pay. Every person in every walk of life and vocation can choose to serve God there. 

It doesn’t take a special revelation from God to discover His will for your life.  It just takes a heart that wants to please God in all circumstances. 

"No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money" (Matthew 6:24). 

Where Was God In The Paris Attacks?

Apologetics God's Will Free Will

Source: "Paris attacks made me 'doubt' presence of God, admits Archbishop of Canterbury," By Agency, 12:01AM GMT 22 Nov 2015

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-12-14

Scripture: 1 Peter 4:12 ; Romans 2:5

Author: Illustration Exchange
7

ILLUSTRATION

According to THE TELEGRAPH:

The Archbishop of Canterbury has admitted the terror attacks in Paris made him "doubt" the presence of God.

Justin Welby said he was left asking why the attacks happened, and where God was in the French victims' time of need. He said he reacted with "profound sadness" at the events, particularly because he and his wife had lived in Paris.

Asked if these attacks had caused him to doubt where God is, he said: "Oh gosh, yes," and admitted it put a "chink in his armour."

He told the BBC: "Yes. Saturday morning - I was out and as I was walking I was praying and saying: 'God why - why is this happening? Where are you in all this?'"

APPLICATION

Have you ever had cause to question the presence of God due to a personal encounter with overpowering evil? Whether you’ve had such an experience or not, the world abounds with such tragedy. So much so that we all have the opportunity to grapple with the questions posed by evil, long before these questions are forced upon us.

What about 911? What about the Holocaust? Should any of us, particularly those who serve as shepherds and guides, be caught off guard when something like this happens? Especially when we know from the pages of Scripture that God has granted mankind the free will to choose between good and evil. And not only that, the Bible warns us that those who choose evil are “storing up judgment for the day of judgment.”

Think about the implications of this statement. If judgment is being “stored up,” than it is not being doled out now!  And since you can't have divine justice without divine judgment, we shouldn't be surprised that we have to wait to see God's justice for the terrible things that some people choose to do.

The postponement of judgment requires the postponement of justice. The fact that man is given free will, combined with the fact that judgment has been postponed until the "day of judgment," means that we have no biblical basis for asking why the attacks happened, and where God was in the French victims' time of need.

Don't wait for evil to strike before you ask, “What the heck is going on in the world?" And don't allow the presence of evil to cause you to question the presence or the purpose of God. Expect God to allow what God has revealed He will allow, rather than what you think He should.

"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you" (1 Peter 4:12).

"But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up judgment against yourself for the day of God's judgment, when his righteous judgment will be revealed" (Romans 2:5).

Everything Means Something

Apologetics Meaning of Life God's Will

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-11-09

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Honoring The Lord's Name

Prophecy God's Will God's Name

Contributed By: Stephen Kingsley | Date Posted: 2014-07-25

Scripture: Exodus 20:7 ; 2 Peter 1:20

Author: Stephen Kingsley
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I Won Because I Lost

Prayer God's Will Destiny

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-07-05

Author: Illustration Exchange
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What You'll Find At The Top

Meaning of Life God's Will Fulfillment

Contributed By: Erik Estep | Date Posted: 2014-05-26

Scripture: Psalms 119:35

Author: Good News Publishers/Illustration Exchange
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Six Again

Word of God Obedience God's Will

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-05-15

Scripture: 2 Timothy 2:15

Author: Chuck Swindoll/Illustration Exchange
15

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Two Eyes, Two Ears, Two Feet, Two Hands

God's Will Sin Nature Obedience

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-02-19

Author: Illustration Exchange
5

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Rushing God's Timing

Dating God's Will Blessings/Blessedness

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-02-07

Author: Josh Harris
3

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